- 英学史研究 (ISSN:03869490)
- vol.1982, no.14, pp.73-86, 1981 (Released:2009-09-16)
It is more than 25 years since Nobuyuki Imai passed away of liver cancer, and now is the time, I suppose, to talk about him, because 25 years is not so short, and suitable to take an objective view of him and his works. Soon after the war end, he came to Nara to hunt curios. He was a connoisseur of antique objects, and looked very happy in the ancient capital of Japan. I have not met him ever since. About five years later I was much shocked to hear of his decease, which might inevitably bring about the discontinuation of “Current of the World.” Talking of “Current of the World”, it made its first appearance in 1924, next year of the Kanto earthquake. It may be said that the kind of English magazine was being looked for by a lot of Japanese intellingentzia though there were two other big English magazines, “The Rising Generation” and “The Study of English.” He was a teacher and then became a journalist in English, whose experince was wonderfully put to practical use, the former to the foundation of “Weekly” and “Correspondence Course”, and the latter to “Current of the World.” He set up the Eigo-tsushinsha at Sendagi-cho, Hongo, which was transferred to Nishikata-cho, Hongo in 1919. He distinguished himself in his work. He made a hit with his “Weekly” which was read as a side-reader at almost all middle schools throughout Japan, and also “Current of the World” had a remarkable circulation. It seemed he swept away everything in his way. “Current of the World” had two major objects; one was giving reading materials in current English to intellectuals, and the other was Japanese English translation which was always in Imai's charge. And this was very famous with his unique remark. I hope the latter will be published as a book which, I believe, will be utterly helpful to university students and intelligent public persons. Imai had a rosy future with other plans, but World War II and his illness made them a very remote possibility. No, his death brought a close to everything.